Posted: 27.07.20 at 10:41 by The Editor
Chaos and pandemonium - but one independent travel agent from Midsomer Norton is offering up reassuring advice as travel restrictions are imposed for those travelling to Spain.
Amy Howerd is used to being hyper-organised and helping out people organise their dream holiday - with every detail covered - so this is just another anxious question she has been trained to deal with.
Under coronavirus her work has got more complicated for sure, but unlike some bigger companies she can offer a personal service and she had this advice today (July 27) for would be Spain holiday makers.
She told Nub News : " For anyone due to travel to mainland Spain soon you should be given the option of either a refund, credit note or to amend the dates or destination as the FCO are advising against travel to mainland Spain.
"Anyone that is due to travel to the Balearics or Canaries it’s a little more complicated as the FCO are not advising against travel to these islands but you will be required to quarantine upon your return to the UK. This means that tour operators do not necessarily need to provide an alternative option as they are not going against FCO advice (despite the fact a lot of people wouldn’t be able to quarantine upon their return). However I would say that this advice can change quickly and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Balearics and Canaries become exempt to the quarantine soon."
Amy's business was thriving until coronavirus struck and post March it is gradually becoming busy again.
Amy told Nub News why she went into the travel business: " I grew up in Midsomer Norton, living on North Road and attended Somervale Secondary school. After completing my A Levels I went to work for an IT company in Bath – I spent some time working in corporate travel amongst other things and absolutely loved arranging trips for people.
"As a family we have always loved our holidays and I taken great pleasure in organising those down to the smallest details and in recent years I also started helping friends and family arrange theirs. A couple of years ago I started researching ways to start a travel consultancy business and quickly learnt that a franchise was the best way to do this. I found Not Just Travel, a part of the Hays Travel Independence Group and decided that they were the franchise for me. They offered thorough training and fantastic support from Head Office.
" I started my business last year and was inundated with bookings until March. Once lockdown came it hit the travel industry hard – we were incredibly busy arranging refunds for customers or amending dates but unfortunately receiving no income as we do not receive any commission when customers cannot travel. Luckily in the past six weeks things seem to be bouncing back with lots of people keen to secure a holiday for something to look forward to.
Using an independent adviser can offer extra protection if and when the government decides rules are changing. "
Thirty two year old Amy told Nub News : " I think moving forward more people will come to rely upon trusted travel agents – they can offer you important financial protection and also take away the hassle if things need to be amended or rearranged.
" My customers only have to deal with me, I am available seven days a week to take phone calls/messages and will then deal with the tour operators on their behalf. My customers will never have to spend hours on hold trying to find someone to speak to about their holiday. It’s important to look for a travel agent that offers both ABTA & ATOL protection and it can be really useful to read their trust pilot reviews as well. "
Not Just Travel’s Trust Pilot reviews can be found by clicking here: the Trust Pilot site
Amy does not hesitate to naming her favourite trip to book.
She said: " My family are huge Disney fans and my favourite trip to help arrange is a Disney holiday! Whether that’s Florida, Paris or one of the many other locations around the world it’s just so much fun to plan. Trying to book a Disney holiday can be like learning a whole new language with so many different aspects to consider – theme parks, water parks, Fastpasses, dining reservations... the list goes on. I can help my customers understand how to make the most of all of these to get the most out of their Disney holiday. I absolutely love hearing all about their trips when they get home as well – it makes me so happy to help families make special memories of their own."